Butternut Squash Risotto On A Chilly Fall Day…or Whenever!
Is it getting chillier by you? Let me tell you, Illinois is just plain moody when it comes to seasons. Some days it’s warm and other days it’s so chilly we need the heat on (what?!). And sometimes…we get all that in one day! But whatever the weather decides on any particular day–I know it’s Fall and it’s time for delicious comfy Fall foods!
Really, you can make risotto any time of the year, but this week’s recipe specifically includes that delightful Fall flavor courtesy of butternut squash.
So let’s talk about it! This week’s recipe comes from Food Apparel and you can find the recipe right -> here!
Roasting The Butternut Squash For The Risotto
Making the butternut squash risotto isn’t all that difficult. Frankly, the most “time-consuming” part of this is letting the squash roast in the oven. This doesn’t require any peeking. While the squash is roasting, this gives you the opportunity to prepare everything else. And just like the recipe states, once the squash has been roasting for about 20-30 minutes, you can begin working on the risotto.
One thing I would add about the squash itself is that it is lightly seasoned with salt. Butternut squash is more mild in flavor and in order for it to cut through the flavor of an already creamy risotto, I think it could use a little something more to brighten up the dish. Since we’re already using a little cumin (and I mean, a little. It’s only 1/2 teaspoon), I think we can spare some spice for the butternut squash to roast in.
The flavor itself is definitely satisfying. The addition of the sweet Italian sausage really does help a lot because it brings in some additional flavor to break through that creamy texture. So, I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you do NOT skip out on including this. Now, unlucky for me, I still can’t chew much, so this ended up tasting more bland for me because I couldn’t chew the sausage. My husband really enjoyed it, so if he didn’t add any extra seasoning, then I’d say we’re balanced pretty well.
Cooking The Actual Risotto
What really helps me enjoy a recipe more is when everything comes together in a timely manner. This recipe for butternut squash risotto does certainly satisfy that requirement for me. While the butternut squash is roasting, you have all the time you need to prep the remaining ingredients. Dice your onion, measure out your garlic, parmesan, all that good stuff!
Adding broth to the risotto in between peeling the skin off the butternut squash worked out quite well for me. I didn’t feel like I was all over the place with my prep. Plus, by the time I finished with the squash, I was ready with my risotto to combine everything. See? It works out.
Food Apparel does include some helpful notes, especially if you’ve never worked with arborio rice before. Definitely do warm up 5 cups of broth for this, but taste along the way. Depending on where you’re located and the weather, you may not need all that broth, so just keep an eye on it. I ended up using all of my broth and my risotto still retained its texture. What you don’t want to be left with is mush. While easier to consume if you can’t chew (yay wisdom tooth surgery recovery…), it’s just not what we’re looking for here.
Once you can see that the rice has expanded, start tasting it a bit before adding more broth. Once you’re almost there with your texture, add in the remaining ingredients. I ended up adding the last bit of my broth at that point to help the spinach wilt a bit more and to bring this butternut squash risotto together.
Grey’s Grade: 5/5
Fall is my absolute favorite season, so making this butternut squash risotto was really a no-brainer. If you enjoy risotto, then I certainly do give this recipe my seal of approval. The flavors really hit the spot during this season, so whether you decide to make this during the week or during your weekend, know that you’ll be enjoying something very comforting.
While this is delicious, I do highly recommend that you taste along the way for seasoning. Again, it may be up to your palette, but I ended up adding a little bit more salt to help balance the flavor of the already creamy rice with the mild in flavor butternut squash. Again–just a helpful recommendation so you don’t feel like you’re eating a dish with just a single later of flavor.
Now that brings us to another Fall recipe enjoyed and reviewed!
What are some of your Fall favorites? Let me know in the comments below!
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